Original Research - Special Collection: Creating value through entrepreneurial learning

Designing internships: Student demographics and student motivation

Bjørn W. Åmo
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 15, No 1 | a650 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v15i1.650 | © 2023 Bjørn W. Åmo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 31 October 2022 | Published: 25 July 2023

About the author(s)

Bjørn W. Åmo, Business School, Faculty of Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Nord University, Bodø, Norway


Background: Internships as a means for learning and job training are increasingly getting traction among universities and policymakers. Still, we do not know what motivates students to undertake such external experimental learning arrangements.

Aim: This study reveals students’ motivation for engaging in two different internships design.

Setting: We explore the motivation among Norwegian bachelor and master business students for engagement in internships locally and abroad.

Methods: This is a quantitative study where 244 students responded to our survey. The students themselves provided input on the survey topics. We applied t-tests, correlations, and regressions to analyse the data.

Results: Demographical variables as well as motivational factors influence the student’s preferences regarding internships.

Conclusion: The complexity and design inherent in the internship are accepted by the student depending on their family situation, their job experience and their learning expectations.

Contribution: Internships are not a one-size-fits-all. The students’ family situation, their previous work experience and their academic achievements give hints to what the student looks for in an internship: a local internship offering future job opportunities or an international internship promising greater learning opportunities.


internship; work practice; entrepreneurship; business student; motivation.

JEL Codes

A10: General; A13: Relation of Economics to Social Values

Sustainable Development Goal

Goal 4: Quality education


Total abstract views: 949
Total article views: 1109

Crossref Citations

No related citations found.